If the mess of your home stresses you out but you just don’t have the time or patience to keep it in order—you may want to consider hiring a home cleaning service to help lighten the load. Before you do, use these tips to hire the best home cleaning service for you and your home. Signing up for a good home warranty package is another great investment to keep your home in top shape.
How to choose a home cleaning service
The first thing to decide when choosing a home cleaning service is whether to hire an individual or a professional cleaning service.
An individual can provide a more personal touch—it may be easier to get to know them, give them specific directions about how you’d like your house cleaned, and you may feel more at ease when they’re in your home around valuables or breakable items.
However, keep in mind that when hiring an individual to clean your home, you effectively become their employer and thus are responsible for handling the appropriate tax forms, providing cleaning products (this may depend on the arrangement), and ensuring they’re covered under your home insurance policy.
A housekeeping company is a good choice if you’d like the work done quickly, as they usually send out several employees at once to clean your home. A company can often accommodate your specific schedule. There will always be back up employees, so it’s less likely a cleaning service will cancel or run late.
Though much quicker and more reliable, a home cleaning company may not have the time to be as thorough with cleaning or remember specific instructions for cleaning your home. However, a company is more likely to be insured and bonded. This means they’re responsible for covering any financial losses or an accident involving an employee in your home.
Choosing who to hire
Recommendations from friends and family can be the most helpful way to find a reputable cleaning service or individual.
Online reviews can be helpful, but keep in mind they may not explain the specific situation thoroughly, so be cautious. Someone expected to clean a five bedroom house in an hour may not have done a great job because they were too limited by time, but could do an excellent job cleaning a two bedroom apartment in the same amount of time.
Questions to ask a home cleaning service
Before you hire a company or house cleaner, you’ll want to ask them a few specific questions.
What kind of cleaning services do you offer?
Be specific about what services you need when you contact the cleaning service. Most house cleaners provide basic cleaning like vacuuming, mopping, dusting, wiping down surfaces, and cleaning of the bathrooms, however they may not pick up items around the house, organize tabletops, handle jewelry, move heavy furniture, or wipe down expensive appliances unless specifically instructed.
How do you charge and do any services cost extra?
Most cleaning companies charge by the hour, but some will offer a flat rate. It’s common for companies to offer a walk-through of your home before you hire them so they can give you an estimate of how long it will take and what the cost will be. Be sure that when you do a walk through, you’ve left your house in the condition it will be when the cleaning service comes to clean so the estimate they give will be accurate.
Be sure there aren’t extra charges for certain services. Some house cleaners may charge extra for things like houses with pets, high ceilings, or deep cleaning of especially dirty spaces. They should be able to tell you upfront if anything in your home will require them to charge you extra.
Will they bring their own cleaning supplies, and if so, what cleaning supplies do they use?
You may need to provide cleaning supplies for an individual, but a company will usually bring their own supplies. You may want to ask about the specific cleaning products they use, especially if you or your family has any allergies or you have pets or young children in the home.
How do you screen your employees?
If you’re going with a company, ensure the safety of your home by asking how they screen their employees and if the same cleaners will always be visiting your home. Most companies will send the same cleaners every time, but there’s always a possibility of a cleaner calling in sick or being off one day, so it’s important to know that you can trust their replacement.
Can you provide references for your work?
Feel free to ask the company or individual for references. A reputable company should have references available to new customers. If a company is not able to provide references, this is a red flag.
Can you provide proof of insurance?
When hiring a cleaning company, be sure to have their insurance company fax or mail you a copy of their certificate of insurance. If they will not let you speak with the insurance company directly—or if they cannot provide proof of these documents at all—it’s a sign not to hire them.
More in Maintenance